General practice nurse–led screening for anxiety in later life in Australian primary care settings

Danny Hills, Sharon Hills, Tracy Robinson, Holly Northam, Catherine Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To test the feasibility of general practice nurse (GPN)–led screening for clinically significant symptoms of anxiety (CSSA) in older people and to estimate the prevalence of CSSA. Methods: General practice nurse-led screening for CSSA was undertaken in eight general practices by integrating the five-item Geriatric Anxiety Inventory—Short Form (GAI-SF) into the annual 75 years and older health assessment (75+ HA). Prevalence rates were calculated, and field notes were analysed. Results: Over 30 months, 736 patients were screened for CSSA, with a detected prevalence rate of 20.1%. The application of the GAI-SF into the 75+ HA was feasible and readily accepted by patients. Conclusions: The five-item GAI-SF is an age-appropriate screening tool for CSSA in general practice settings. Further research is warranted, particularly in relation to the development and implementation of evidence-informed, general practice–based interventions for CSSA that can be effectively delivered to meet the needs of older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e121-e126
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • anxiety
  • general practice
  • nurses
  • older persons

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